Afghanistan + 24 more

WFP Emergency Report No. 20 of 2002

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
This report includes:
(A) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

(B) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan, (3) Iran

(C) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Malawi, (2) Lesotho, (3) Swaziland, (5) Zambia, (6) Zimbabwe, (7) Somalia, (8) Tanzania, (9) Rwanda

(D) West Africa Region: (1) Liberia, (2) Guinea, (3) Sierra Leone, (4) Côte d'Ivoire

(E) Central Africa Region: (1) Republic of Congo, (2) Angola

(F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Cuba, (2) Ecuador, (3) Guatemala, (4) Costa Rica, (5) Panama, (6) Paraguay

From Francesco Strippoli, Director of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs; available on the Internet on the WFP Home Page (www.wfp.org), or by e-mail from Zlatan.Milisic@wfp.org.

For information on resources, donors are requested to contact Valerie.Sequeira@wfp.org at WFP Rome, telephone 39 06 6513 2009. Media queries should be directed to Trevor.Rowe@wfp.org, telephone 39 06 6513 2602. The address of WFP is Via Cesare Giulio Viola 68, Parco dei Medici, 00148 Rome, Italy.

A) Asia Region: (1) DPR Korea

1) DPR Korea

(a) Pipeline shortages, especially for cereals continue to impact WFP's emergency operation in the DPRK. WFP is scaling down operations this month. Distributions to 400,000 elderly persons, 700,000 secondary school children and 144,000 caregivers in child institutions and paediatric hospitals will be suspended from this month. Priority will be given to orphans, young children and pregnant and nursing women in the third quarter. Further donor support to WFP's emergency Operation is needed to avert a major food crisis in the DPRK. An additional 300,000 tons are urgently required to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations.

(b) Cereal contributions are needed urgently for the third and fourth quarters, especially if the food requirements during the lean season are to be met. New pledges for cereals have become absolutely crucial at this time. Shortages of sugar since the first quarter has led to a reduction of the sugar content, an essential ingredient, in the locally processed enriched blended food for the youngest children. The pulses pipeline broke in April for four months, pending the arrival of a contribution of soybeans. The oil pipeline will break, temporarily, in May pending the arrival of a contribution of oil.

B) West and Central Asia Region: (1) Afghanistan, (2) Pakistan, (3) Iran

1) Afghanistan

(a) WFP sub-offices throughout the country continue to report pipeline breaks in their programmes resulting in the suspension of Food for Asset Creation (FoodAC) and Food For Work (FFW) projects. WFP has stopped dispatching food in the Central and Western areas and suspended 12 projects in the Southern area. Immediate cash donations for regional purchases are necessary to restore the pipeline and address the immediate needs of vulnerable populations.

(b) Khoja Douko District (Northern area) is experiencing prolonged drought, reduced yields from previous harvests and in some cases- complete crop failure. Small landholders, daily labourers, female-headed families and other vulnerable populations are clearly at risk to food insecurity. WFP, in collaboration with Hungarian International Agency, is distributing food to 25 percent of the total population. A two-month FoodAC project, targeting over 32,900 people is recommended.

(c) Following a rapid emergency needs assessment mission conducted in Balkh district (Northern area), key findings indicate the depletion of assets and livestock within the community. Assistance through FoodAC is recommended for 26,665 people until the harvest.

(d) As of 1 April, approximately 413,700 IDPs were reportedly located in the Southern area, according to UNHCR. Since the beginning of the returnee programme on 19 March, approximately 8,900 returnee families and 163 displaced families arrived at the UNHCR/KSO transit- distribution point. This week, WFP dispatched 400 tons of food to the KSO and Delaram transit points.

(e) WFP intends to support a Food for Education (FFE) project in Kandahar City (Southern area), starting on 18 May and targeting 31,100 students. 1,180 tons of food have been allocated to the project. Current stock levels of wheat flour are sufficient to start this project but unless stocks are replenished, programme sustainability will become problematic. 12 projects were temporarily suspended due to food shortages in the Southern area.

(f) Over 37,100 students are currently enrolled in the FFE project in the Eastern area. Additional schools in Nangarhar, Kouz Kunar and Behsod Districts are expected to be targeted over the coming months. This week, WFP distributed over 500 tons of wheat to 3,700 families returning from Peshawar to the Eastern area. Over 42,600 returnee families have received WFP assistance in the Eastern area.

(g) This week, torrential rain caused extensive flooding in Khulum District of Samanagan Province (Northern area). An estimated 700 families are reported to have lost food supplies while 300 persons may have lost their homes. An assessment mission including WFP was deployed on 9 May. WFP transported 50 tons of food in response to the crisis, corresponding to a one-month ration.

(h) WFP's wheat stocks in Kabul (Central area) are low. As a result, WFP scaled down its assistance and gave priority to the bakery projects and refugees repatriated from Pakistan and Iran. No new project will receive WFP support until the pipeline situation improves.

(i) UNHCR is finalizing registration of over 2,000 Kabul and Tajik displaced families willing to repatriate to Bamyan (Central area). WFP has pre-positioned 400 tons of food in Bamyan City. WFP intends to establish a FFE programme in Qarqhanato and Shiberto areas in Bamyan, where returning IDPs are located. 6,240 students are enrolled in the FFE Programme in the Central area. In addition, WFP is supporting over 3,000 people attending non-formal education literacy and vocational training.

2) Pakistan

(a) Relocation of refugees to new camps has not yet resumed this week. It will be restricted to twice a month due to security problems in the tribal belt in Peshawar area. Over 14,600 persons were repatriated from Balochistan area to Afghanistan during the past week. As of 14 May, over 51,800 refugees had repatriated to Afghanistan.

(b) Over 123,500 persons are reported living in the camps in Peshawar area. However, this caseload does not reflect the recent repatriations from Kotkai, Bagzai, Asgharo and Barkali camps. Food distribution for the month of May was completed in Bagzai, Bassu and Barkali camps to 32,600 beneficiaries. Food distribution in Shamahatu, Kotkai, Shalman and Asgharo camps is ongoing. Though there were some difficulties in supplying wheat flour to the camps, requirements were fully met. The wheat stock position has reached a critical level. The June distribution will be negatively impacted unless new stocks arrive by 30 May.

3) Iran

(a) As of 9 April, UNHCR reported that over 40,000 Afghan refugees had returned to Afghanistan from Iran through Dogharoon and Milak exit points. From 24 April to 12 May, WFP has been monitoring food distributions in 28 refugee camps. Over 920 tons of food are being distributed to approximately 72,800 vulnerable people, including 62,200 in-camp Afghan and Iraqi refugees, 5,570 girls benefiting from the Oil for Education Scheme and 5,000 non camp Afghan refugees.

C) East and Southern Africa Region: (1) Malawi, (2) Lesotho, (3) Swaziland, (4) Zambia, (5) Zimbabwe, (6) Somalia, (7) Tanzania, (9) Rwanda

1) Malawi

(a) Supplementary Feeding coordinated by UNICEF and WFP to 15,000 children and 18,000 pregnant and lactating women has started. The number of severely malnourished people admitted to the WFP-supported Nutrition Rehabilitation Units continues to be high. In response, WFP intends to expand food assistance in the country.

(b) Under EMOP 10201, which is being finalized this week, WFP, in collaboration with its partners, intends to assist 2 million vulnerable people, distributing a total of 54,400 tons of food from June to September. Some donors have already confirmed their intention to support this emergency operation, envisaging a donation of around 95,000 tons of maize.

(c) WFP is expanding its operational capacity through the establishment of two additional sub-offices as well as increasing the capacity of the existing ones. Based on the results of the Crop Food Supply Assessment Mission, WFP and the NGO Consortium finalised allocations of responsibilities for coordination of food distribution in 27 districts. A distribution plan for the next three months is being prepared. WFP is currently discussing with the Department of Disaster Prevention, Relief and Rehabilitation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation to establish a Joint Steering Committee for the Emergency Food Security Programme.

2) Lesotho

(a) The WFP bridging emergency operation for Lesotho is being finalized and will be ready by the end of next week. Preparations for the elections scheduled for 25 May are progressing and election observers are already on the ground. Prices of staple food are reportedly increasing every day.

3) Swaziland

(a) On 15 May, WFP completed the necessary administrative, staffing and logistics arrangement in view of its forthcoming intervention in Swaziland. WFP bridging emergency operation for Swaziland is being finalized and will be ready by the end of next week.

4) Zambia

(a) The FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission is currently in the field and will return by the end of the week. Preliminary findings will be presented on 24 May. Refugee rations that have been reduced by half since January will be restored to full ration by 1 June after confirmation of commodity arrivals.

5) Zimbabwe

(a) Following the recent confirmation of additional contributions, EMOP 10140.0 has now received donations amounting to USD 29,620,805 equivalent to 50,381 tons. This leaves a shortfall of USD 30,670,283, equivalent to 66,270 tons. Additional donor support is urgently needed to avoid a major crisis in Zimbabwe.

(b) As of 13 May, WFP, in collaboration with its partners, had distributed almost 7,150 tons of food in 15 districts reaching over 355,750 vulnerable people. WFP organized a meeting with NGOs involved in food aid projects to discuss a possible expansion of WFP operations with additional implementing partners. Several studies on the maize market and targeting mechanisms in urban areas, some of them being funded by WFP, are currently ongoing in Zimbabwe. Their recommendations may form the base of the next phase of WFP EMOP.

(c) Following the completion of its work in country on 11 May, the FAO/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission presented its preliminary findings to donors and NGOs. The report is expected by the end of May. The Government of Zimbabwe has so far purchased just over 250,000 tons of cereals from RSA, Kenya, China, and Brazil of which approximately 40 percent has been delivered.

6) Somalia

(a) UN agencies suspended their activities in urban Mogadishu on 7 May following refusal by kidnappers to release a UNDP local staff member abducted on 28 April. Before the suspension, WFP was providing food to MCH centres and TB patients in Mogadishu for about 800 vulnerable people under PRRO 6073.

(b) The death of President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of Somaliland (Northwest) was reported on 3 May. The Vice President is now in charge, pending elections. Calm has been reported in the region and UN agencies have maintained their regular activities.

(c) Following inter-clan fighting in the border town of Bulo Hawa in the Gedo Region, about 15,000 Somalis are reported to have fled to the northeastern Kenyan border town of Mandera. Northern Gedo remains insecure, hindering the return of these refugees. WFP and other agencies in Kenya and Somalia are monitoring the refugee situation closely to co-ordinate relief efforts.

(d) WFP started the dispatch of 750 tons of food from Mombasa to Mandera for the relief distribution in Gedo. However, due to security concerns, the UN has suspended air and ground operations in Gedo until further notice. WFP's relief distribution in south Gedo (Burdhubo and Garbaharey districts), planned for end of May, is therefore likely to be delayed until access is granted.

(e) The two Puntland leaders failed to reach an agreement after negotiations in Addis Ababa at the end of April. Subsequently, renewed fighting begun in various areas forcing staff of international agencies to relocate to Hargeisa in the northwest. This relocation comes at a time when humanitarian aid is critically needed in the area. A cholera outbreak has been reported in Bosaso town and food shortages continue in Bari and East Sanag regions. Puntland authorities have issued a statement formally advising humanitarian agencies that the international staff who left for safety reasons are not welcome to return to the region.

7) Tanzania

(a) From 22 April to 6 May, WFP distributed over 3,600 tons of food (corresponding to a two-week ration) to over 514,600 refugees in Kigoma, Kibondo, Kasulu and Ngara districts. WFP supplied 100 percent of the standard food ration to all beneficiaries, except for CSB and salt, which were distributed at 60 percent of the full ration. In addition, WFP supported various Supplementary Feeding Centres (SFC), providing over 80 tons of food to approximately 20,550 malnourished persons. Over 350 refugees arrived in Tanzania from Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda from 22 April to 6 May.

(b) During the same period, 40 refugees were assisted in returning to their communities in Rwanda, bringing to over 1,100 the total number of Rwandese assisted in returning home between 1 January and 2 May. In addition, facilitation of voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees commenced in Kasulu and continued in Kibondo and Ngara camps. Approximately 1,700 Burundian refugees were repatriated to Burundi through these 3 camps from 22 April to 6 May. Additional 64,600 Burundian refugees have been registered in Ngara, Kibondo and Kasulu camps for voluntary repatriation.

8) Rwanda

(a) During the month of April, WFP assisted approximately 303,600 vulnerable people under various programmes. Beneficiaries included 88,200 farmers involved in FFW projects as well as 33,100 refugees in Kibuye, Gikongoro and Byumba provinces. As of 31 March, UNHCR reported that 3,200 returnees had come back to Rwanda from DR Congo, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Republic of Congo. This includes over 600 arrivals registered in Gisenyi in April. They all received WFP assistance.

(b) WFP distributed 90 tons of food to 5,600 displaced Congolese at Mudende camp during the month of April. The beneficiaries were displaced from their homes following the volcano eruption in Goma last January. Following the repatriation of a number of IDPs to DR Congo, WFP's implementing partner, the Rwanda Red Cross, and the Ministry of Social Affairs conducted a registration exercise at Mudende camp.

D) West Africa Region: (1) Liberia, (2) Guinea, (3) Sierra Leone, (4) Côte d'Ivoire

1) Liberia

(a) From 25 April to 5 May, WFP distributed over 660 tons of food to 54,300 beneficiaries. This includes 418 tons of food supplied to 29,000 refugees, 176 tons to 17,000 IDPs, 17 tons to 2,056 malnourished people under Supplementary and Therapeutic Feeding Centers (SFC and TFC), 40 tons to 3,929 beneficiaries in the framework of institutional feeding programmes and 9 tons to 2,306 pupils in emergency school feeding programmes.

(b) After the panic that gripped Monrovia on 13 May, following confirmation by the Government of an attack on Arthington town, some 25 kms away, the situation returned to normal on 14-15 May. However, as a precautionary measure, a number of embassies have relocated their non-essential staff and advised their nationals to leave the country.

(c) Attempts by humanitarian workers to conduct a rapid needs assessment among the IDPs were delayed due to the security situation. But it was estimated that some 6,000 IDPs had reached Ganta in Nimba County while another 5,000 had reached Totoka, south of Gbarnga. The total number of IDPs in Liberia was estimated to be at least 78,000.

(d) Current WFP in-country stocks amount to about 6,000 tons of various commodities, the majority of it being located in Monrovia. These stocks are sufficient to cover the needs of 125,000 beneficiaries during at least two months.

2) Guinea

(a) The arrival of over 3,500 new refugees mainly from Gbarna was reported on 13 May. WFP, UNHCR and GTZ went to Beta in Yomou district, where most refugees have gathered. The refugees reportedly left during the previous week. They were not showing signs of severe malnutrition. WFP started distributing food and UNHCR will initiate their transfer on 17 May. Another 5,000 to 7,000 persons supposedly in Liberia could be on move towards Guinea.

3) Sierra Leone

(a) From 25 April to 5 May, WFP distributed a total of 3,100 tons of food to 167,500 beneficiaries. This increase in distributions is due to the current accelerated resettlement programme. It is anticipated that food requirements will remain high in May. Food for Agriculture distributions will then sharply increase in late May through June, July and August. However, WFP expects to face major shortfalls of cereals and pulses in July and August, during the pre-harvest hunger season.

(b) Due to the elections, which took place in Sierra Leone on 14 May, the border with Liberia is closed. Elections were conducted peacefully and people participated to the polls in large numbers. UNHCR increased the number of weekly overland return convoys from Guinea and Liberia to accommodate the heavier load of Sierra Leoneans returning to the country in time to participate in the elections.

(c) Prior to the most recent developments, UNHCR Sierra Leone had planned for an influx of 40,000 Liberian refugees in the course of 2002. There are currently more than 15,000 refugees in camps.

4) Côte d'Ivoire

(a) On 12 May, 300 newly arrived Liberian refugees were registered in Gbinta (main border crossing point with Liberia near Danane), fleeing hostilities in Gbanrga. A total of 10,755 refugees have arrived in Côte d'Ivoire since May 2001. WFP assists with food aid all those who volunteer to settle in Nicla refugee camp. 3,200 refugees are currently receiving assistance from WFP at Nicla under the regional PRRO 6271. The refugees are receiving a full general ration, and the food is distributed by Caritas.

(b) It is too early to assess whether the increase in hostilities in Liberia will lead people to flee to Côte d'Ivoire since it takes several days to travel from the areas affected by fighting to the border.

E) Central Africa Region: (1) Republic of Congo, (2) Angola

1) Republic of Congo

(a) Fighting between the Ninja militia and the army which started end March/early April in the Pool region has caused as new wave of displacement of populations who found refuge in Djambala, Plateaux region, in Brazzaville, and in other surrounding regions. Fighting between Ninjas and army forces on 9 April in the southern neighbourhoods of Brazzaville have put the city in a state of panic. About 80.000 people have left Makelekele and Bacongo to find refuge in other areas of the city. Numerous incidents of looting have been reported. However, as of 15 April, the situation in the southern areas of Brazzaville had returned to normal and the majority of the population had regained their habitation.

(b) An inter-agency team was set up to devise a coordinated response to the growing number of displaced persons. On behalf of all United Nations agencies based in Brazzaville, the Emergency Relief Coordinator expressed concerns over the worsening humanitarian situation. He also appealed all parties to respect humanitarian principles, in particular to provide protection for civilians and allow humanitarian workers access to the populations in need. Despite these appeals, the Government has rejected requests by humanitarian organisations for access to the affected areas, invoking security reasons.

(c) As of 30 April, none of the affected areas within the pool regions were accessible. An estimated 40,300 persons have been displaced from the Pool region, ICRC reported. The only location where an assessment has been made by WFP is Djambala. 4,5 tons of food have been delivered to the IDPs. The condition of the IDPs who remain within the Pool region is cause for concern. UN agencies, including WFP and International NGOs are continuing dialogue with government authorities to obtain free and unimpeded access to this region.

(d) Following a security incident along the railway line linking Pointe-Noire to Brazzaville on 2 April, the railway traffic was suspended. On 22 April, the traffic of cargo trains resumed. This situation has led to a shortage in gas, an increase of the price of locally produced food items and has negatively influenced WFP operations. Only 45 percent of the planned quantities have been delivered during the month of April. The WFP Kinkala sub-office has remained closed for security reasons, no food distribution was carried out in the Pool region. In Nkayi, Bouenza region the cycle of distributions has been disrupted by the insecurity in the surrounding localities. In Brazzaville as well, food deliveries were interrupted during the first two weeks of April.

(e) WFP distributed 350 tons of food to 15,000 vulnerable people in Brazzaville, Kouilou, Niari and Bouenza regions during the month of April. Food assistance to agriculture activities has increased in line with the preparation of the forthcoming crops in Bouenza, Niari and Lekoumou regions. Through the FFW programme, WFP supported schools rehabilitation, in collaboration with UNICEF.

2) Angola

(a) Despite the recent confirmation of new contributions to Angola PRRO, further donations are still urgently needed to avoid pipeline breaks in September. This week, WFP Executive Board approved PRRO for Angola 10054.1 under which WFP intends to distribute an average of 17,000 tons per month for 1,160,000 beneficiaries.

(b) An inter-agency team, including WFP, assessed the needs of approximately 7,300 IDPs in Cajala commune (Benguela province), where approximately 250 malnourished children were considered in need of urgent assistance. In response, two community kitchens were opened. German Agro Action confirmed the arrival of 84 new IDPs in Balombo. They were relocated and provided with WFP food assistance.

(c) Registration for urgent food assistance for up to 50,000 vulnerable people in Cuemba (Bié province) is underway. Following a re-verification exercise, 340 new IDPs were registered in Kuito and Camacupa. Admissions to nutritional feeding centres continue to increase in Kuito due to patients arriving from Chitembo and Camacupa.

(d) WFP is currently completing the registration of beneficiaries ahead of the planned general distribution of food in Chipindo (Huila province). An estimated 18,000 new IDPs in Chipindo camp currently need urgent assistance and a further 10,000 are expecting to move into Chipindo camp from surrounding areas once food is available for distribution. MSF-S is setting up a feeding centre and is already assisting around 100 people through a SFC supported by WFP. WFP will continue to assist 1,000 IDPs for one more season in Cacula and Hoque villages, while some 2,500 old IDPs reached satisfactory level of self-reliance and will no longer receive WFP assistance. In Huila province, an estimated 4,200 people are reported to be in dire need of assistance in Dongo and about 50km to the north of Kuvango municipality (inaccessible by road). An urgent assessment is needed in both localities in order to further assess needs.

(e) Over 1,750 new IDPs received WFP support in Chipipa, Lomanda and Cancilhas municipalities (Huambo province). In Huambo municipality, OIKOS, MINARS and WFP registered and assisted new IDPs from Bié, Bailundo, Mungo, Luena, and Kuima. 2,500 new IDPs were registered in the newly accessible areas of Katchiungo and Tchikala Tcholohanga. Food distribution will follow shortly.

(f) Due food shortages, WFP was forced to temporarily suspend Child Community Programmes and school feeding projects in Malange as priority is given to new IDPs and vulnerable groups. IDPs arrived in Malange from Luquembo and Cambundi Catembo and are receiving emergency WFP food. The MSF-H nutritional centres of Carreira and Amilcar in Malange city are currently assisting 355 malnourished people. CONCERN is assisting moderately malnourished beneficiaries in Cambondo (Malange province).

(g) In Uige province, WFP registered and provided food assistance to around 1,000 new IDPs in Sanza Pombo. Around 150 severely malnourished children are being assisted with WFP food in the TFC run by Catholic Mission in Sanza Pombo. Movements of people returning to their areas of origin continue to be observed, in particular to the municipalities of Puri, Cangola and Sanza Pombo.

(h) Further waves of newly displaced populations leaving their homes to receive humanitarian assistance were reported in Kuando Kubango, Moxico, Kwanza Norte and Kwanza Sul provinces. WFP, in collaboration with its implementing partners have been closely monitoring the situation and addressing the needs of the most vulnerable persons, when villages are accessible.

F) Latin America and Caribbean Region: (1) Cuba, (2) Ecuador, (3) Guatemala, (4) Costa Rica, (5) Panama, (6) Paraguay

1) Cuba

(a) Local authorities have expressed concerns over the lack of rain, which may cause a severe drought. The Cuban National Weather Centre reports that a drought is affecting the eastern provinces. If the situation continues, crops and food security will be severely affected.

(b) A WFP mission visited the provinces of Granma, Holguin, Las Tunas, Santiago and Guantanamo to assess the situation of farmers who are planting less than normal. A livestock state of emergency has been declared in these eastern provinces. WFP will take part in several meetings expected to take place among government officials and UN agencies to assess the situation and the possible impact of a drought and take the necessary measures.

2) Ecuador

(a) Water levels have dropped greatly and no substantial amount of rain and new floods have been reported in the last few weeks. According to climate experts, a weak to moderate El Niño is likely to develop by the end of 2002. Its impact is not expected to be as strong as the El Niño of 1997-98. However, WFP is preparing contingency plans to respond to the possible effects.

(b) On 9 May, all the United Nations agencies present in Ecuador, including WFP, participated in an emergency simulation exercise, hosted by the United Nations Emergency Team for Ecuador. This week, WFP began a training course on Emergency Food Needs Assessment for counterparts.

3) Guatemala

(a) Over 40 forest fires have been reported in 9 provinces. In the province of El Peten, the Coordinator for Disaster Reduction has sent an alert due to the large amount of affected land and the lack of water. Meanwhile, there is presently no indication of the onset of the rainy season (normally mid-May), causing concern regarding a possible drought/El Niño phenomenon.

(b) Private farms continue to be occupied by indigenous groups protesting against limited access to land. At least 13 farms have been occupied in the provinces of Izabal, Alta Verapaz, San Marcos, Suchitepequez, Chimaltenango and Retalhuleu. Since last year, 49 farms have been occupied in the provinces of Los Alta and Baja Verapaz, Huehuetenango, Izabal and Suchitepequez.

(c) On 10 May, food distributions under WFP EMOP 10174 began in 53 nutritional centres of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, 14 national hospitals with nutritional recovery rooms and 9 private nutritional centres. These centres are located in the areas identified by the government as priority.

4) Costa Rica

(a) Last week, the Government of Costa Rica declared a national state of emergency. Between four and five thousand people were evacuated due to major flooding in the provinces of El Limon, Heredia and Cartago.

(b) According to OCHA, the National Emergency Commission has set up temporary shelters and has activated the Local Committees on Disaster Prevention and Response. The Costa Rican Red Cross distributed food and mattresses to flood victims. The Office of the UN Resident Coordinator reports that authorities will carry out needs assessments to quantify the sectoral needs once the waters have receded.

(c) OCHA reports that the Government will estimate the resources available locally and the possible need for international assistance in the rehabilitation/reconstruction process. The Government of Costa Rica has not requested international assistance

5) Panama

(a) Heavy rain has been falling on the border area with Costa Rica, causing major flooding. It has affected the provinces of Bocas del Toro, Veraguas and Chiriqui. The Panamanian Red Cross estimates that around 10,000 people have been affected. Approximately 1,500 persons were evacuated.

6) Paraguay

(a) Major flooding has been registered as a result of heavy rainfalls from January to April in the province of Neembucu (Southern Paraguay). The Government declared the province of Neembucu an emergency area on 6 May. According to the Secretariat of Production, 80 percent of the subsistence crops and 60 percent of the maize crops have been lost. The Government of Paraguay has not requested international assistance.

(b) WFP does not have country offices in Costa Rica, Panama and Paraguay. However, WFP Regional Bureau in Managua continues to monitor the situation in these countries.

Correction: Section D, paragraph (7, a) of WFP Emergency Report No. 19, dated 10 May 2002: Sentence "A total of 99 Burundian refugees were repatriated in two convoys on 11 and 18 April" should read "A total of 1,519 Burundian refugees were repatriated in two convoys on 11 and 18 April ".

Note: All tonnage figures in this report refer to metric tons

(End WFP Emergency Report No 20)